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Poster: The Bopper Date: Mar 15, 2006 8:50am
Forum: etree Subject: Grateful Dead: Brother Esau and other songs they stopped playing

Anyone got any theories (serious or comical) as to why they stopped playing Esau? I know they played this one a ton and people were sick of it, but seems weird they just pulled the plug on the song in '87.

What about those other tunes they stopped playing or became rare after being in the normal rotation?

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Poster: mickmac Date: Mar 16, 2006 10:02pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Grateful Dead: Brother Esau and other songs they stopped playing

how about day job...supposedly they stopped playing this because the fans didn't like it

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Poster: J.C. Date: Mar 15, 2006 12:07pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Grateful Dead: Brother Esau and other songs they stopped playing

Bobby has gone on record as saying the "opaqueness" of the lyrics bothered both he and another band member (probably Jerry, imo). He said he just never got a good feel as to what the song was about or supposed to mean.

Which is funny, because its references to the Vietnam war and the flip-flopping of the public perception of protester/soldier after the war ended always seemed clear to me. But maybe I'm way off base.

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Mar 17, 2006 10:56am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Grateful Dead: Brother Esau and other songs they stopped playing

Passenger was discontinued after the 1981 New years run, I never understood why they stopped playing it. To me it was always one of the highlights of the 1st set and I looved jerry's slide work on that song.

Also, while Brother Esau was not released on the In The Dark album, it was the Flip Side of the Touch Of Grey 45.

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Poster: patkelley Date: Mar 15, 2006 9:49am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Grateful Dead: Brother Esau and other songs they stopped playing

I think Bobby found out that his brother esau was really his sister and had to stop playing it. Seriously though, I think they abandoned the song outright when they left it off of the In the Dark CD (album), although I understand that it does appear on some tape versions of the record. Other regular songs that mysteriously dropped out- Lost Sailor was last played in '86. Passenger dropped out at around the same time I think. Old school stuff like Cosmic Charlie and, of course, the Eleven and St. Stephen were pretty sorely missed. I think, based on the success that Phil has had with it in recent years, that dropping Viola Lee was actually sort of a mistake on their part. The other songs mentioned above were pretty rigidly charted out, but Viola Lee was always, and is now for Phil, a real vehicle for improvisation that the GD would have done well to keep expanding upon. Nice thread.

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Poster: caspersvapors Date: Mar 15, 2006 11:13am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Grateful Dead: Brother Esau and other songs they stopped playing

I know they stopped playing certain songs just because some of them were cumbersome, i.e. St. Stephen, Weather Report Suite Prelude, etc.